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DONDA was[1] a creative content company founded by American rapper and fashion designer Kanye West. The company is named after West's mother, Donda West, and shares the name with his tenth studio album announced for release sometime in 2020.


West announced the company on January 5, 2012, via a series of Twitter posts.[2]

In his announcement, West proclaimed that the company would "pick up where Steve Jobs left off"; DONDA would operate as "a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas" with the "goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford."[3]

The announcement garnered widespread media attention, including coverage by The Guardian,[4] The Washington Post,[5] The Huffington Post,[6] The Wall Street Journal,[7] and Time Magazine, which proclaimed the company's announcement the first major social media moment of 2012.[8]


West was secretive about the company's operations, maintaining neither an official website or social media presence.[9][10]

In stating DONDA's creative philosophy, West articulated the need to "put creatives in a room together with like minds" in order to "simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see, taste, touch, and feel".[11] Contemporary critics have noted the consistent minimalistic aesthetic exhibited throughout DONDA creative projects.[12][13][14]

Continuing a trend consistent in previous Kanye West projects,[15] an additional hallmark of DONDA projects has been multi-disciplinary collaboration, often featuring prominent contributions from major figures in various creative fields. Prominent examples include painter George Condo, video artist/film director Steve McQueen, performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, artist Wes Lang, stage designer Es Devlin, artist/sculptor Takashi Murakami, photographer Jackie Nickerson, fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, and fashion house Maison Martin Margiela.[16][17][18][19]



On May 23, 2012, DONDA debuted its inaugural creative project, a film entitled Cruel Summer, as part of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film is a 7-Screen Surround Vision experience.

Cruel Summer was shot using a specialized camera rig, which allowed the directors to capture multiple angles simultaneously.[20] The film, developed in collaboration with the Doha Film Institute, design firm 2x4 and architecture firm OMA, was presented in a specially designed theater - christened "Surround Vision" - featuring seven screens which surrounded the audience.[21]

On March 7, 2015, West debuted a collaborative short film with director Steve McQueen entitled All Day/I Feel Like That.[22] The film premiered at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, followed by its American debut at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in July 2015.[23]

Album/singles art[edit]

DONDA provided packaging design for the following albums and singles:

Music videos[edit]


  • Complex Magazine "GOOD Music: New Religion" cover story and article, printed on July 23, 2012.[33]
  • Kanye West and Adidas Originals - Season One zine. Photography by Jackie Nickerson. Released on March 11, 2015.
  • Kim Kardashian West - "Selfish" - published on May 5, 2015.[34]
  • Rich Wilkerson Jr., "Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World" cover art, published on November 10, 2015.[35]

Stage design[edit]

The video for West's "New Slaves" was projected using guerrilla methods on over 60 buildings worldwide.


Prominent marketing projects include:


  1. ^ Destefano, Mike (January 16, 2020). "Joe Perez Spent Eight Years Working for Kanye West and Now He's Revealing His Donda Archive. Here's Why". Complex Magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Osei, Anthony (January 5, 2012). "Kanye West Announces Creative Company DONDA". Complex Magazine. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Graham, Mark, Kanye West's Epic 1600-word Twitter Rant: Neatly Organized for your Reading Pleasure, 5 January 2012, 'VH1', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  4. ^ Dredge, Stuart, Kanye West's DONDA wants to 'pick up where Steve Jobs left off', 6 January 2012, 'The Guardian', retrieved 3 August 2015.
  5. ^ Chaney, Jen, Kanye West and the Donda Twitter rant: A translation, 6 January 2012, 'The Washington Post', retrieved 3 August 2015.
  6. ^ Staff, Kanye West Twitter Rant: Donda, His New Company, Education & Design Plans, 5 January 2012, 'The Huffington Post', retrieved 3 August 2015.
  7. ^ Chai, Barbara, Kanye West Writes 86-Tweet Opus, 5 January 2012, 'The Wall Street Journal', retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. ^ Carbonne, Nick & Conniff, Kelly, The Year in Social Media, 19 December 2012, 'Time Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ Hope, Clover, Kanye West has a Dream: Inside his Creative Agency DONDA, 19 August 2013, 'VIBE', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. ^ Pasori, Cedar, How Kanye West's Creative Company DONDA is making its own Brand of Cool, 3 November 2014, 'Complex Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  11. ^ Graham, Mark, Kanye West's Epic 1600-word Twitter Rant: Neatly Organized for your Reading Pleasure, 5 January 2012, 'VH1', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ Sargent, Jordan, DONDA: Kanye West Goes G.O.O.D. Trill Hunting with His Minimalist Design Company, 13 November 2013, 'Spin Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  13. ^ Babcock, Gregory, Kanye's Stylish Pastor Releases DONDA-Designed Book, 23 June 2015, 'Complex Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  14. ^ Lewis, Brittany, Every Music Cover Kanye West’s Creative House DONDA Has Created So Far…, 3 November 2014, 'Global Grind', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  15. ^ McQueen, Steve, Kanye West, 19 January 2014, Interview Magazine, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  16. ^ Alexander, Ella, Why Margiela Teamed Up With Kanye, 6 November 2013, 'Vogue Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  17. ^ Staff, Behind Kanye West's Methodical Conquest of the Art World, 28 November 2013, 'Artspace', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  18. ^ Saka, Ren & Castro, Vanessa,12 Things to Know About Vanessa Beecroft, Kanye West's Visual Art Collaborator, 5 December 2013, 'Complex Magazine', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  19. ^ Deleon, Jian, Wes Lang Designed Kanye West's Tour T-Shirts, and Now You Can Buy Them At PacSun, 2013, 'GQ', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  20. ^ Staff, Kanye West Cruel Summer Pavilion, 2x4, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  21. ^ Rosenfeld, Karissa, Kanye West’s seven-screen pavilion / OMA, 24 May 2012, Arch Daily, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  22. ^ Malle, Chloe, / West with the Night: Kanye Takes over The Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 March 2015, Vogue Magazine, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  23. ^ Williams, Maxwell, Kanye West and Steve McQueen Debut Collaborative 'All Day/I Feel LIke That' Video at LACMA Gathering, 25 July 2015, The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  24. ^ Meek Mill - Burn Feat. Big Sean (Prod. By Jahlil Beats) | Stream & Listen [New Song], retrieved 2015-08-11
  25. ^ "New Music: Kanye West and Pusha T - "New God Flow"". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  26. ^ Greenwald, David, 2 Chainz Enlists Kanye West's DONDA For Album Art, 5 July 2012, 'Billboard Magazine, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  27. ^ "CLIQUE". Joe Perez. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  28. ^ Diep, Eric, Kanye West Reveals "Cruel Summer" Album Art, 2 August 2012, Complex Magazine, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  29. ^ "Listen: Pusha-T Featuring Future: "Pain"". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  30. ^ "Pusha T featuring Popcaan & Travi$ Scott – Blocka (Produced by Young Chop)". HYPETRAK. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  31. ^ Strong, Nolan, Kanye West’s Company DONDA Designs Artwork For Lil Wayne Album, 30 January 2013, 'AllHipHop', retrieved 31 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Video: Big Sean f/ Lil Wayne & Jhené Aiko – 'Beware'". 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  33. ^ Callahan-Bever, Noah, G.O.O.D. Music: New Religion, 23 July 2012, Complex Magazine, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  34. ^ Fox, T.S., G.O.O.D. Music: New Religion, 20 January 2015, Hypebeast, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  35. ^ "NEWS: Rich Wilkerson Jr. Releases Debut Book, SANDCASTLE KINGS - The Gospel Music Association". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  36. ^ Schwarz, Hunter, Kanye West Projected "New Slaves" And A Video With Scott Disick Onto The Sides Of Buildings Last Night, 16 June 2013, Buzzfeed, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  37. ^ Green, Mark Anthony, Kanye West Gets New Creative Direction, May 2013, 'GQ, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Watch Kanye West's American Psycho-Themed Short Film Starring Scott Disick and Jonathan Cheban". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  39. ^ "Watch Kanye West's Remixed Canyons Trailer". Vulture. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  40. ^ Li, Arby, The Kanye West for adidas Yeezy Season 1 Anorak, 12 February 2015, Hypebeast, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  41. ^ Marcus, Ezra, Kanye West Sends Out Mysterious New York Fashion Week Invites Archived 2015-08-02 at the Wayback Machine, 11 February 2012,, retrieved 4 August 2015.

External links[edit]